Monday, September 29, 2014

A Monday Post

Quickly now...

How much would not fighting ISIS cost?

U.S. military efforts against Islamic State have cost nearly $1 billion so far and are likely to run between $2.4 billion and $3.8 billion per year if air and ground operations continue at the current pace, according to a think tank analysis.

But a ramp-up, including more air strikes and a significant boost in ground forces, could send costs soaring to between $13 billion and $22 billion annually, said the analysis released on Monday by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

How interesting that the most wasteful administration is now considering frugality.

“Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Mr. Obama said on “60 Minutes,” the CBS News program, referring to James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. Mr. Obama added that the agencies had overestimated the ability and will of the Iraqi Army to fight such Sunni extremists. “That’s true. That’s absolutely true,” he said.

Whatever you say, Mr. Khorasan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN with some powerful words:

The Israeli leader compared the spread of Islamic terrorism to a “cancer” that starts small, but left unchecked grows to cover a wider area. “To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late,” Netanyahu told the crowd of leaders and diplomats.

Referring to Israel’s deadly war in Gaza that ended last month, Netanyahu accused Hamas of committing "the real war crimes" by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. He showed a photograph he described as Palestinian kids playing near rocket launchers in Gaza. “Israel’s defense knocked rockets out of the sky. Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles,” Netanyahu said.  

Israel "was doing everything to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize civilian casualties," he added.

It was an angry response to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. last week in which he accused Israel of conducting a "war of genocide" in Gaza. Abbas stopped short of saying he would pursue war crimes charges against Israel but said he would ask the U.N. Security Council to dictate the ground rules for any talks with Israel, including setting a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

With memories of the Nazi Holocaust still fresh in Israel, use of the word "genocide" is regarded as particularly provocative both to Netanyahu and Israelis in general.

And turning to another regional rival, Netanyahu said Iran's concern about the spread of terrorism is "one of history's greatest displays of double-talk." He criticized the efforts of six world powers to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, saying, "to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a potential nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war."

“Don't be fooled by Iran's manipulative charm offensive. It's designed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb.” Netanyahu insisted.

Netanyahu closed his speech with words of hope for peace with the Palestinians and suggested support from leaders of all Middle Eastern countries could help in those efforts.  

As long as there is a one-party communist state in China, Hong Kong will never have the Western-style democracy it craves:

Words of snark from Three-point-Three-Three Cubits of Rage:

Commission blames homeschooling for Sandy Hook massacre

When obviously all those children would be alive today if they’d been homeschooled.

Go to the new and improved Blazing Cat Fur site. It's sleek, efficient, high in taste and low in calories.

And now, firefighters saved little hamsters.

Yes, that happened.

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